Queen Elizabeth II’s former chaplain converted to Catholicism in response to the Church of England’s failure to stand up to “political correctness”, which he said has instead “swallowed it wholesale”.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Dr Gavin Ashenden recalled his years in the 1980s smuggling Bibles into Czechoslovakia for ordaining Catholic priests — an act banned by the Marxist government — and observed that “in some important respects Britain is starting to resemble Soviet-era Eastern Europe”.
“Freedom of speech is slowly being eroded; those who refuse to be ‘politically correct’ risk accusations of thought crime and Christians are being unfairly persecuted.
“And where is the Church of England in this crucial culture war? Is it on the front line? Not that I can see. If anything, it has switched sides.”
Dr Ashenden, who was one of several personal chaplains to the Queen between 2008 and 2017, said that the mother church of the worldwide Anglican communion had “remained astonishingly silent” when “called upon to defend Christian values” — noting specifically the transgender activist agenda’s influence on children.
He criticised the church — which issued guidance in 2017 to let children experiment with their gender at church-run schools — for failing to defend doctors who affirm that sex is immutable and for remaining silent on unisex toilets in schools.
Criticising the archbishop directly, Dr Ashenden said: “Instead, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has presided over advice warning schools against having distinct boys’ and girls’ uniforms – because it might ‘create difficulty for trans pupils’.”
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The Church of England already allows transgenders to marry someone of the same biological sex in church if they have a legal document stating they are the opposite gender — yet in a contradictory move has recently said it will not challenge marriages if one person legally changes sex after the vows are taken. The positions confirm the church believes gender is fluid and that it will permit “same-sex” marriages.
“Trans people with gender recognition are already able to marry in our churches. Being transgender does not prevent someone offering themselves for ordained ministry and we have transgender clergy as well as laity,” Rev Dr Malcolm Brown said last year.
The Church of England has even sought to redefine the sex of God — referred to throughout the bible with male pronouns and as the “Father” — with Archbishop Welby declaring Him gender-neutral while female bishops called for clergy to stop referring to God as “He”.
Ashenden continued in the Mail: “Rather than resist such political correctness, and offer a Christian critique, the Church of England has swallowed it wholesale. These apparently minor concessions are symptomatic of the C of E’s wider capitulation to the increasingly intense and non-negotiable demands of a secular culture.”
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This is not the first time the former chaplain to the monarch has spoken out against progressive posturing by the Church of England.
Reverend Ashenden was one of several conservative Christians to have expressed outrage when the Muslim call to prayer was pronounced in Blackburn cathedral during an armistice day ceremony last year. A blasphemy in Christianity, the azaan inherently denies the one true God and the divinity of Jesus by declaring the primary deity to be Allah and Mohammed his messenger.
He said at the time: “In the downward spiral of the Church of England’s membership, they are trying to move from being a religious organisation to a cultural organisation.”
The Catholic convert had resigned from his post in 2017 after publicly criticising the Episcopal Church of Scotland for allowing the Quran to be read at St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 10, 2019